Birds are building their nests, leaves are bursting out of their buds, the ground is getting warmer…spring is on its way!

OK, so we know we’re a bit biased, but there really is no better way to greet this most welcome of seasons than in the New Forest.  From the tiniest insect to our mightiest oak, the lighter days have an almost magical effect on the landscape.

You won’t have to walk very far across our 140,000 acres to spot the signs. From the delicate green of the new beech leaves emerging in our ancient woodlands  - we are one of Europe’s top places for this type of habitat - to the thrill of spotting a little sand lizard, basking in the sun, spring is everywhere you look.

Join the National Trust walks on the Northern Commons in April and May to learn about ground-nesting birds such as the Dartford warbler, nightjar and woodlark. During this period they'll be establishing territories, building nests and bringing up their young. 

Or peek into one of our ponds to spot the frogspawn and tadpoles – not to mention the ducklings swimming along.

Spring is a time of scents – from the warm, coconut fragrance of the yellow gorse, to the tang of the wild garlic, to the sheer heaven of our magnificent bluebells at Clayhill Heath near Lyndhurst, and Broomy Inclosure north of Linwood.

And, of course, spring is the time our New Forest ponies and donkeys give birth to their adorable foals.  So long as you keep a sensible and respectful distance from the mothers and their young, you should be able to take as many pictures as you wish, as they wobble and skip their way across the heathland.

For a slightly more formal beauty – and the chance to ride a miniature train - visit Exbury Gardens, whose outstanding collection of spring-flowering rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and rare trees is considered one of the most important in the world.

Spring is also the time our major attractions, including Longdown Activity Farm, with its baby lambs, and Paulton’s Park, re-open fully after the winter. It’s also the time when new excitements – look out for Paulton’s Little Africa - are unveiled.

Make the most of the new season and its longer, lighter days, by incorporating lunch or afternoon tea into your visit, at one of our award-winning hotels or restaurants. Or pack up a picnic or barbecue with some of our New Forest Marque foods and find your own spot to savour the spring – we have hundreds of beautiful places to choose from!

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